Is It All Possible?

I've often lamented, to myself and others, that I just need to find "the answer." When I find that answer, I think, I'll be able to accomplish all that I want to accomplish. The fact that I don't currently merely shows a lack of willpower, initiative, creativity, or problem-solving ability. This, anyway, is the thesis from which I work.

What if my thesis isn't actually true?

I have a number of things that I want to do, and do well. Though you might not realize it upon walking into my house, I can be a perfectionist. If I can't do something perfectly, I'd rather just not do it at all, which actually does explain my house. I often let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

What if my expectations are simply too high? What if all the things I feel deserve 100% add up to more than 24 hours in a day? Maybe it's not that I need more problem-solving ability or willpower. Maybe it's simply that I've reached my limits, insofar as my life is currently configured.

My daily tasks & desires run more or less as follows:
- Schoolwork with EG, which includes checking her work, teaching her, and helping her stay on track with her work
- Schoolwork with FB, of which all but 10-15 minutes is direct instruction & sitting with him
- Parenting EG, FB, & PC
- any activities outside the house for EG or FB, which usually involve a period of “sit and wait” for me (I do try to utilize that time for reading or knitting when possible)
- knitting, 15 minutes average (in practice, I will knit a lot for several days, then none for several, and I often knit while watching television)
- reading, 30 minutes (a book I have not previously read)
- magazines, kindle books (I have a backlog), or re-reading, 15 minutes/1 chapter/1 magazine (whichever comes 'first')
- exercise of some type
- cooking or otherwise preparing three meals per day
- decluttering time, 15 minutes
- school prep, which generally takes between one and two hours weekly
- general housework, which may on a given day include vacuuming, laundry, cleaning bathrooms, or any one of a number of myriad tasks, not including the dinner dishes, the trash, or the litter box, ever, thankfully

Let's be honest. It's the world we live in, so I must also include...
- blogging
- email
- facebook and other social media

Then there's the current tasks of
- packing
- otherwise organizing to move

There are more sporadic tasks as well, like the duties I have for various community organizations, switching out clothes for a new season, choosing curriculum, and writing lesson plans.

Maybe, given the way our life is currently scheduled and otherwise designed, it's not all possible. No amount of waking early in the morning will give me the ability to drive to the Y, work out, and get back before dh has to go to work, not without my going to bed before the kids at night. I don't want to become a drudge; I do need leisure time. My ideal would be approximately one hour of television per weeknight, on average, as well as the above time for reading, knitting, and digital tasks.

I'm sure there are people that do everything I've listed on the list above, and then do even more. The question is not about theoretical possibility. The question is about whether I can do these things to my personal standards, and within the constraints of the schedule we have.

An example, then: I am unwilling to put the kids into the childcare at the Y, despite the fact that it is a "benefit" of membership. This is mostly because I had such negative experiences with it when FB was younger. However, the childcare at the Y is also closed for three hours each afternoon–the very same three hours which would be best for us! I'm not willing to yield on the time we devote to school in the mornings, nor am I willing to concede the children's afternoon activities or dinner as a family. The end result, then, is that it’s very difficult for me to utilize the Y. Now, of course, there are alternate exercising options, and the point is not to solicit comments and suggestions, because really, I can brainstorm. ;) In fact, the point is simple: as my life is currently structured, perhaps I truly can’t do everything I want to do. Perhaps I need to focus more on a few things at a time. These last two weeks have been a time for looking at curriculum and planning for the convention later this month; consequently, I’ve done less reading and knitting. Now that I feel I have a good handle on my plan, I can move back towards more reading and knitting. Perhaps this is how it needs to be; I simply don’t know.


Smrt Mama said...

Yes, you probably have to either completely restructure your day to fit everything or you just have to let some stuff go for a while. The only way I really get any reading done now is to stash my books in the bathroom and "multitask."

I think it's definitely time to accept you cannot do it all. I bet the relief you feel when that sinks in will be pretty tremendous.

Kash said...

I'm probably not going to be too popular with the kids & the spousal unit when I decide to let the housework and cooking go, right? ;) Trader Joe's meals never hurt anyone...

Smrt Mama said...

Tell your spouse and kids that they can pull a little more of their own weight in those areas. EG is old enough to heat something up. FB can push a vacuum. Tank vacuums!

Kash said...

Oh, they vacuum their own rooms, and generally they fix they own lunch. I still have to be managerial about it, though.

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